Doomed Ruataniwha Scheme Should be Ditched by Council Tomorrow

Press release - April 26, 2016
The Ruataniwha irrigation scheme looks doomed, and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council should ditch it at tomorrow’s (Wednesday) council meeting, says Greenpeace today.

The promoter of the controversial scheme, Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company, is refusing to say if they have signed up enough farmers to make the scheme viable, despite the deadline passing last week.

Earlier this month, a report commissioned by the council, examining the economics of the irrigation plans, revealed that costs have climbed by 50 per cent, and are set to soar to over $900million.

Genevieve Toop, Greenpeace’s agriculture campaigner, said: “The Ruataniwha scheme looks doomed. It makes no sense economically or environmentally, and it’s time for the council to ditch it. 

“This huge, costly irrigation plan will industrialise our farms, probably bankrupt more New Zealand farmers and increase pollution into our rivers. And, if it goes ahead, it will hoover up hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ money.

“Ending this farcical scheme would be good news for our rivers, our economy and for farmers. And if the council finally does the right thing, they should be applauded.

“Clean, green farming is much better for our finances, our farmers, our rivers and our international reputation. It’s this that the council and the government should be backing, not some failed industrial dairy model which is polluting our rivers and our economy.”

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